Saturday, August 16, 2008
Play your part, then vanish
After giving the subject quite a bit of thought over the years, I've finally come to the conclusion on what to do with my carcass once I'm no longer in need of it: cremation. I want no ode to human vanity, AKA a grave with headstone, to stand in mute testimony to my former existence; my son and, I hope, future grandchildren will be my living memorials.
I came to this decision in the time since my mother died of cancer in 2005. While visiting her grave, I began to notice the many graves from the early part of the 20th century that had undoubtedly not been visited in years, perhaps decades. The folks to whom these graves meant something, close blood relatives, had likely passed on themselves, leaving a forgotten plot and marker.
This is not the fate I want for my mortal remains. One thing I have taken a bit of pride in during my life is knowing when to vacate a given place, in other words, knowing when to leave and not wear out my welcome. After taking my final bow, I'd really like not to leave my clutter behind for future generations to deal with. Just fire me up, spread my cremains at a location of my choosing, and get on with life. If, on occasion, I am remembered fondly by those who've loved me, what more can anyone truly wish for?
Of course, all of this is contingent upon still having a supply of relatively cheap energy. If energy costs become prohibitive in 35-40+ years (I hope I won't need this service any sooner), it might be cheaper just to leave me out in a field somewhere. Oh well, only time will tell, and that's just part of the adventure of life.